Fro - Hosanna
Posted by Kellus Hill on Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 7:09pm EST
It’s amazing to think of how the same people singing Christ's praises- "Hosanna! Hosanna!"- on Good Friday, were clamoring for the release of Barabbas (basically) hours later. One of Memphis' most focused, Fro, took the age old pre- Resurrection Day refrain and entitled his latest project (a pre-album, as he labels it), Hosanna. We'll take another look at how Da Big Wheel Rida puts the gospel on the move in his city with this one.
The main thing that has always jumped out about Fro from the first time I heard him was his sincere passion for the lost. There's no question that when it comes to reaching back and showing compassion to those in need of the Gospel, Fro is steady on the frontline. "Hosanna", the title track, paints that picture again and even details some of the personal difficulties that have come as a result of his commitment to ministry. Even with those high points, this was an underwhelming way to start this album off. The first track that has that true album feel would have to be "Like A Movie". Perfectly layered choir sounds, synths, and drum programming provide a perfect backdrop for Fro to tell stories. Without a doubt this is the standout of the project.
After a memorable feature from Change on an otherwise decent song, "Life", Fro brings 3 good songs with one problem- the hooks. Although Fro is formidable when it comes to writing verses, some of his hooks lack that punch. "First 48" is too simple, "Preacher" is cool but doesn't grab you, and "All Around The World" is decent but gets old after multiple listens. On thing that would be interesting to hear is Fro sharing hook duty with other artists more often.
Coming down to the last portion of the project, nothing jumps out at me, besides "Love You Too". The track is a little bit of an odd fit with Fro's style, but the tone of the song makes up for that. Expressing the emotions that come with being unable to see your child's every waking moment was done well here by Fro. "He Say" closes things out with a declaration of devotion to the Father, making certain its understood he's about the Lord's work regardless.
I've been a listener, and supporter, of Fro since I heard Highway To Heaven a few years back. I enjoyed hearing his growth on The Cornerstone, especially considering how he made it into a thematic project. With Hosanna, I feel his heart for the street shines as usual, but the artistic level took a slight step back. The insturmentals were all solid but some lacked depth and will only really serve the, not entirely negative, purpose of riding music. Lyrically, Fro always stresses being direct and to the point in both the sharing of his internal feelings and retelling of various stories, so that's solid as expected. Creativity is the key part of the picture where I am hoping Fro builds on, especially with his seasoning behind the mic. Being that this is a pre-album, I won't say he's fallen off by any means but i do know when the album drops it will have to be stronger than the 3 best tracks on this release.
Categorical Ratings Breakdown:
Beat Selection/Production: 3/5
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